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Old 03-19-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
RidingDonkeys OP
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Buell Blast Dual Sport?

I can't stop thinking about this. MrsDonkeys is 5'1" tall. She loved the Blast, and though she really wants a CRF230L, she doubts its ability to do serious commuting duty. She likes the Honda's seat height and off road capability though.

So she keeps saying that her perfect bike would be a Buell Blast dual-sport. So why not? Am I crazy for considering this?

What is necessary?
A $1500 donor bike
Chain conversion
Lower gearing
Spoke wheels
Tires
Better shocks

It seems like I'd still be out for cheaper than a BMW 650, and lighter too! Better yet, I'd have the satisfaction of a shed-built rig.

I welcome all comments from the peanut gallery.

Sent from the voices in my head and transcribed by their drinking buddy...
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
It'sNotTheBike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
I can't stop thinking about this. MrsDonkeys is 5'1" tall. She loved the Blast, and though she really wants a CRF230L,

A lowered DR650 would be a much better choice.


Having said that, it won't hurt me a bit if you try to make a
Buell Blast into something it really won't ever be. But if you want
a good end result, think a bit more before you commit to the Buell
project. You're right to avoid the BMW single though. Those things are
heavy poorly suspended underpowered pigs. And sometimes the front forks
snap off while the bike is being ridden ( ouch ! ).

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:18 PM   #3
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I'd have to agree on the DR650SE as an alternative to a Blast.

With the lower suspension positions front and rear, slid forks and lowering links, and a lowered seat, the DR's seat can be brought below 30". You still have a bike with considerable travel, a smoother engine, aftermarket support, and offroad ruggedness. The air/oil cooling works great. Skids are easy to just bolt on.

If she doesn't need a 650, the CRF230L is low and light, with offroad ruggedness and wide gearspread. I wouldn't expect it to cruise slab at 80MPH, but most people aren't likely to enjoy a Blast over long distances at that speed either. The new CRF250L is a nice bike too, but a bit taller, heavier, and more complicated. The EFI, liquid-cooling, and added displacement make for a nice bump in power over the 230.

Also take a look at the XT225/250 and the KL250 Super Sherpa. They are pretty low, rugged, and light too.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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Ouch. I think I'd try riding a stocker in the dirt for a proof of concept before I went too far down the path you're considering.

Does it really need lower gearing? Most of the gearing issues I see on the forums are people trying to raise the gearing to lower the revs on the highway.


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Old 03-19-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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Xt225 is a viable option, but is pretty tapped out at 60mph.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
RidingDonkeys OP
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Top speed is an issue with the 250 range. If she is going to commute on it, it will need to maintain 60mph for 20+ miles each way. She loves the CRF230L, but like the XT, it is pretty tapped out at 60mph.

The DR is an option. The dry weights are nearly identical. However, the perceived weight is very different. I love the DR myself, but to MrsDonkeys, it feels much more top heavy, and she's the one riding it.

Part of the attraction to the idea is simply the fun of building something different.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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I like new, interesting projects.

That being said, I think the 230 or another dual sport would still be better in most every way. From commuting, to on and off road. I looked into the 230, briefly before buying my CRF250L. IIRC correctly it will maintain 60MPH.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:56 AM   #8
Foot dragger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingDonkeys View Post
Top speed is an issue with the 250 range. If she is going to commute on it, it will need to maintain 60mph for 20+ miles each way. She loves the CRF230L, but like the XT, it is pretty tapped out at 60mph.

The DR is an option. The dry weights are nearly identical. However, the perceived weight is very different. I love the DR myself, but to MrsDonkeys, it feels much more top heavy, and she's the one riding it.

Part of the attraction to the idea is simply the fun of building something different.
Belt drive? Changing wheels to dual sport wheels...how will that work with out major machining?
I think half way through a project like that and a guy would really start wondering why he started.
Women change their minds like underwear,wait till tomorrow and something different will crop up.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Belt drive? Changing wheels to dual sport wheels...how will that work with out major machining?
I think half way through a project like that and a guy would really start wondering why he started.
Women change their minds like underwear,wait till tomorrow and something different will crop up.
Easy peasy. The Blast engine is essentially half a Sportster engine. Well, not essentially, it IS half a sporster engine. Sporty chain drive conversions work. You just have to add a tensioner somewhere.

I'd likely find a UJM donor bike for wheels and forks.

I'm getting my Google-Fu on, and apparently I'm not the first idiot to think of this idea.

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Old 03-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Even though the HP was about the same, I know my dr650 would easily pull away from my buddies blast, even though he weighed a LOT less than me.
The blast was a trip to ride though. And something different always rocks.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:34 PM   #11
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Well good luck then. There are several Sportster builds going on over in Some Assembly Required, you might get some ideas there.

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